Epidemics and History: Disease, Power, and Imperialism
This book is a major and wide-ranging study of the great epidemic scourges of humanity--plague, leprosy, smallpox, syphilis, cholera, and yellow fever/malaria--over the last six centuries. It is also much more. Sheldon Watts, a cultural and social historian who has spent much of his career studying and teaching in the world's South, applies a wholly original perspective to the study of global disease, exploring the connections between the movement of epidemics and the manifestations of imperial power in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and in European homelands. He shows how the perceptions of whom a disease targeted changed over time and effected various political and medical responses. He argues that not only did Western medicine fail to cure the diseases that its own expansion engendered, but that imperial medicine was in fact an agent and tool of empire.
Watts examines the relationship between the pre-modern and modern medical profession and such epidemic disasters as the plague in western Europe and the Middle East; leprosy in the medieval West and in the nineteenth-century tropical world; the spread of smallpox to the New World in the age of exploration; syphilis and nonsexual diseases in Europe's connection with Asia; cholera in India during British rule; and malaria in the Atlantic Basin during the eras of slavery and Social Darwinism. He investigates in detail the relation between violent environmental changes and disease, and between disease and society, both in the material sphere and in the minds and spirits of rulers and ruled. This book will become the standard account of the way diseases--arising through chance, through reckless environmental change engineered by man, or through a combination of each--were interpreted in Western Europe and in the colonized world.
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The Human Response to Plague in Western
Leprosy and Lepers
Syphilis in West Europe
Cholera in India to c 1857
Cholera in Britain
Slavery and the Fevers in Atlantic Africa to c 1840 2 2 4
Other editions - View all
Atlantic Slave Trade Barbados Black Death Britain British bubonic plague Cairo Cambridge University Press campaign caused cholera Christian Civilization claimed Colonial Culture cure dead Development disease early Egypt elite Empire England English epidemic established Europe European famine France French held History of Medicine human Hygiene ideas immunity Imperialism India infected inoculation John Journal of Tropical Koch labor land later lazar houses lepers leprosy living London malaria Mamluk masturbation Medi medical doctors Medieval Middle million missionaries modern moral mosquito Muslim Native Americans Nigeria nineteenth century North Oxford peasants percent physicians population Portuguese prostitutes Public Health quarantine Quétel Quoted regions reported Robert Koch Roy Porter rural sexual sity Press Slavery slaves smallpox Social History Society sort South Spanish Studies syphilis tion town trade trans Treponema pallidum Tropical Medicine urban vaccination venereal syphilis victims village West Africa western women World Writing yellow fever York